Paris (France)

Different Like Coco

By Elizabeth Matthews

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"Coco couldn't afford to dress like the corseted ladies of high society and she was never going to be shapely. There was no point in trying to be like them. Instead, she tried to be different."

The rags-to-riches story of Coco Chanel plays out in a wonderful picture-book biography that is as full of style and spirit as its heroine is.

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Paris to the Moon

By Adam Gopnik

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Paris. The name alone conjures images of chestnut-lined boulevards, sidewalk cafes, breathtaking facades around every corner -- in short, an exquisite romanticism that has captured the American imagination for as long as there have been Americans. In 1995, Adam Gopnik, his wife, and their infant son left the familiar comforts and hassles of New York City for the urbane glamour of the City of Light.

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The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry: Love, Laughter, and Tears at the World's Most Famous Cooking School

By Kathleen Flinn

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"A delightful true story of food, Paris, and the fulfillment of a lifelong dream In 2003, Kathleen Flinn, a thirty-six-year-old American living and working in London, returned from vacation to find that her corporate job had been eliminated. Ignoring her mother's advice that she get another job immediately or never get hired anywhere ever again; Flinn instead cleared out her savings and moved to Paris to pursue a dream--a diploma from the famed Le Cordon Bleu cooking school.

"The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry is the touching and remarkably funny account of Flinn's transformation as she moves through the school's intense program and falls deeply in love along the way. Flinn interweaves more than two dozen recipes with a unique look inside Le Cordon Bleu amid battles with demanding chefs, competitive classmates, and her wretchedly inadequate French. Flinn offers a vibrant portrait of Paris, one in which the sights and sounds of the city's street markets and purveyors come alive in rich detail. The ultimate wish fulfillment book, her story is a true testament to pursuing a dream."

Also available on audio.

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The Billionaire's Vinegar: The Mystery of the World's Most Expensive Bottle of Wine

By Benjamin Wallace

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"It was the most expensive bottle of wine ever sold. In 1985, a 1787 bottle of Chateau Lafite Bordeaux--one of a cache unearthed in a bricked-up Paris cellar and supposedly owned by Thomas Jefferson--sold at auction for $156,000. The discoverer of the bottle was pop-band manager turned wine collector Hardy Rodenstock, who had a knack for finding extremely old and exquisite wines. But rumors soon arose. Why wouldn't Rodenstock reveal the exact location where it had been found? Was it part of a smuggled Nazi hoard? Or did his reticence conceal an even darker secret? Author Wallace also offers a history of wine, complete with vivid accounts of subterranean European laboratories where old vintages are dated and of Jefferson's colorful, wine-soaked days in France. This tale of what could be the most elaborate con since the Hitler diaries is also the debut of a new voice in narrative non-fiction."

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Painting American: The Rise of American Artists: Paris, 1867--New York, 1948

By Annie Cohen-Solal

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"Shortly after the Civil War, a resurgent America strode brashly onto the hallowed ground of the Paris salon to present its most distinguished painters in the Exposition Universelle of 1867. Their offereings included majestic Western waterfalls, magnificent portraits, sprawling landscapes--the cream of a nation ready to assert itself culturally as it had begun to do so economically. The Americans sat back to bask in anticipated applause. But their confidence would be shattered when the luminaries of the French Academy condemned the spectacle as being unworthy of the great nation that had produced it. The rebuke provoked widespread soul searching in America: Why was the land of Melville and Poe unable to produce paintings of comparable power? How was it to claim a place among nations producing art of real consequence?

"In this magnificent historical panorama, Annie Cohen-Solal shows how American pragmatism furnished the solution: Learn from the best. The French were then the undisputed masters of painting, and so to France the Americans went in hordes, apprenticing themselves in the studios of reknowned masters-- ... Cabanel, and others--or founding colonies such as the legendary one at Pont-Aven. From the seeds of their individual efforts would grow an extraordinary crop, one that included not only the great--Whistler, Cassatt, Sargent--but a legion of artists of all ranks who collectively pushed forward a bold new American enterprise. In two generations, Paris would be eclipsed, and the greatest French artists would begin coming to New York to be at the new center of everything."

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Folly du Jour

The streets of 1920s Paris are teeming with tourists and tramps, fine artists and con artists. Also killers. Knife fights at cafés and corpses floating along the Seine are all part of the daily parade. But now something newly wicked is in the air—murder with style. A day at the Louvre might reveal a fresh body among the dusty corpses of Egyptian nobles. Josephine Baker’s dazzling performance at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées could be the scene of an unexpectedly dramatic tragedy. Passionate Paris is indeed a perilous place in Barbara Cleverly’s recent mystery, Folly du Jour.

Ooh La La!

Planning a trip to Paris?  Maybe you are only imagining a trip to Paris.  To put you in an a French mood, try a title from the booklist "Ooh la la - Paris Delights".  From memoirs to mysteries, romances to literary classics, you will find these books tres merveilleux! 

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

By Brian Selznick

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When twelve-year-old Hugo, an orphan living and repairing clocks within the walls of a Paris train station in 1931, meets a mysterious toyseller and his goddaughter, his undercover life and his biggest secret are jeopardized.
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The Invention of Hugo Cabret

By Brian Selznick

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When twelve-year-old Hugo, an orphan living and repairing clocks within the walls of a Paris train station in 1931, meets a mysterious toyseller and his goddaughter, his undercover life and his biggest secret are jeopardized.
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The Paris Years of Thomas Jefferson

By William Howard Adams

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As envoy for the new nation, Jefferson found great intellectual stimulation among the Parisian intellectuals during his five years there which was to translate into an enlightened idealism for the United States. Drawn from original source material and includes references to the women in Jefferson's life.

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